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Advent Day 28

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December 24, 2016 Artwork by Françoise Zavala Marker on Paper, Desert Christmas READINGS Rev. 22:12-17, 21 · Luke 1:67-80 Psalm 46 1 God is our refuge and strength,     a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,     though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; 3 though its waters roar and foam,     though the mountains tremble with its tumult.Selah 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,     the holy habitation of the Most High. 5 God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;     God will help it when the morning dawns. 6 The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;     he utters his voice, the earth melts. 7 The Lord of hosts is with us;     the God of Jacob is our refuge.Selah 8 Come, behold the works of the Lord;     see what desolations he has brought on the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;     he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;     he burns the shields with fire. 10 “Be still, and know that I am God!     I am exalted among the nations,     I am exalted in the earth.” 11 The Lord of hosts is with us;     the God of Jacob is our refuge.Selah   Isaiah 35 The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,     the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus 2 it shall blossom abundantly,     and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,     the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of …

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Advent Day 27

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December 23, 2016 READINGS Revelation 22:6-11, 18-20 · Luke 1:57-66 Psalm 93 1 The Lord is king, he is robed in majesty;     the Lord is robed, he is girded with strength. He has established the world; it shall never be moved; 2     your throne is established from of old;     you are from everlasting. 3 The floods have lifted up, O Lord,     the floods have lifted up their voice;     the floods lift up their roaring. 4 More majestic than the thunders of mighty waters,     more majestic than the waves of the sea,     majestic on high is the Lord! 5 Your decrees are very sure;     holiness befits your house,     O Lord, forevermore. Isaiah 33:17-22 17 Your eyes will see the king in his beauty;     they will behold a land that stretches far away. 18 Your mind will muse on the terror:     “Where is the one who counted?     Where is the one who weighed the tribute?     Where is the one who counted the towers?” 19 No longer will you see the insolent people,     the people of an obscure speech that you cannot comprehend,     stammering in a language that you cannot understand. 20 Look on Zion, the city of our appointed festivals!     Your eyes will see Jerusalem,     a quiet habitation, an immovable tent, whose stakes will never be pulled up,     and none of whose ropes will be broken. 21 But there the Lord in majesty will be for us     a place of broad rivers and streams, where no galley with oars can go,     nor stately ship can pass. 22 For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our ruler,     the Lord is our king; …

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Advent Day 25

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December 21, 2016 Artwork: Greetings, favored One! by Micah Collins READINGS Isaiah 28:9-22 · Revelation 21:9-21 Psalm 72 1 Give the king your justice, O God,     and your righteousness to a king’s son. 2 May he judge your people with righteousness,     and your poor with justice. 3 May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,     and the hills, in righteousness. 4 May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,     give deliverance to the needy,     and crush the oppressor. 5 May he live while the sun endures,     and as long as the moon, throughout all generations. 6 May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,     like showers that water the earth. 7 In his days may righteousness flourish     and peace abound, until the moon is no more. 8 May he have dominion from sea to sea,     and from the River to the ends of the earth. 9 May his foes bow down before him,     and his enemies lick the dust. 10 May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles     render him tribute, may the kings of Sheba and Seba     bring gifts. 11 May all kings fall down before him,     all nations give him service. 12 For he delivers the needy when they call,     the poor and those who have no helper. 13 He has pity on the weak and the needy,     and saves the lives of the needy. 14 From oppression and violence he redeems their life;     and precious is their blood in his sight. 15 Long may he live!     May gold of Sheba be given to him. May prayer be made for him continually,     and blessings invoked for …

Advent Day 24

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December 20, 2016 Artwork: The Angel and The Priest by Javier Solis, 2016 READINGS Psalm 66 · Isaiah 11:10-16 Luke 1:5-25 5 In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. 7 But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years. 8 Once when he was serving as priest before God and his section was on duty, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense. 10 Now at the time of the incense offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. 11 Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. 14 You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. 16 He will turn many of the people of Israel to the …

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Advent Day 23

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December 19, 2016 Artwork by Mena Hutin Zavala Hope and Love, Mixed Media READINGS Isaiah 11:1-9 · Revelation 20:1-10   Psalm 62 1 For God alone my soul waits in silence;     from him comes my salvation. 2 He alone is my rock and my salvation,     my fortress; I shall never be shaken. 3 How long will you assail a person,     will you batter your victim, all of you,     as you would a leaning wall, a tottering fence? 4 Their only plan is to bring down a person of prominence.     They take pleasure in falsehood; they bless with their mouths,     but inwardly they curse.Selah 5 For God alone my soul waits in silence,     for my hope is from him. 6 He alone is my rock and my salvation,     my fortress; I shall not be shaken. 7 On God rests my deliverance and my honor;     my mighty rock, my refuge is in God. 8 Trust in him at all times, O people;     pour out your heart before him;     God is a refuge for us.Selah 9 Those of low estate are but a breath,     those of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up;     they are together lighter than a breath. 10 Put no confidence in extortion,     and set no vain hopes on robbery;     if riches increase, do not set your heart on them. 11 Once God has spoken;     twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God, 12     and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord. For you repay to all     according to their work. John 5:30-47 30 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment …

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Advent Day 21

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December 17, 2016 READINGS Psalm 55 · Isaiah 10:20-27 Jude 17-25    But you, beloved, must remember the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 for they said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, indulging their own ungodly lusts.” 19 It is these worldly people, devoid of the Spirit, who are causing divisions. 20 But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; 21 keep yourselves in the love of God; look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on some who are wavering; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; and have mercy on still others with fear, hating even the tunic defiled by their bodies. 24 Now to him who is able to keep you from falling, and to make you stand without blemish in the presence of his glory with rejoicing, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Luke 3:1-9   In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, 2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the …

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Advent Day 20

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December 16, 2016 READINGS Isaiah 10:5-19 · 2 Pet. 2:17-22 Psalm 40 1 I waited patiently for the Lord;     he inclined to me and heard my cry. 2 He drew me up from the desolate pit,     out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock,     making my steps secure. 3 He put a new song in my mouth,     a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear,     and put their trust in the Lord. 4 Happy are those who make     the Lord their trust, who do not turn to the proud,     to those who go astray after false gods. 5 You have multiplied, O Lord my God,     your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;     none can compare with you. Were I to proclaim and tell of them,     they would be more than can be counted. 6 Sacrifice and offering you do not desire,     but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering     you have not required. 7 Then I said, “Here I am;     in the scroll of the book it is written of me. 8 I delight to do your will, O my God;     your law is within my heart.” 9 I have told the glad news of deliverance     in the great congregation; see, I have not restrained my lips,     as you know, O Lord. 10 I have not hidden your saving help within my heart,     I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness     from the great congregation. 11 Do not, O Lord, withhold     your mercy from me; let …

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Advent Day 19

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December 15, 2016 READINGS Isaiah 9:18 · 2 Pet. 2:10b-16 Psalm 50 1 The Mighty One, God, the Lord,     speaks and summons the earth     from the rising of the sun to where it sets. 2 From Zion, perfect in beauty,     God shines forth. 3 Our God comes     and will not be silent; a fire devours before him,     and around him a tempest rages. 4 He summons the heavens above,     and the earth, that he may judge his people: 5 “Gather to me this consecrated people,     who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” 6 And the heavens proclaim his righteousness,     for he is a God of justice. 7 “Listen, my people, and I will speak;     I will testify against you, Israel:     I am God, your God. 8 I bring no charges against you concerning your sacrifices     or concerning your burnt offerings, which are ever before me. 9 I have no need of a bull from your stall     or of goats from your pens, 10 for every animal of the forest is mine,     and the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 I know every bird in the mountains,     and the insects in the fields are mine. 12 If I were hungry I would not tell you,     for the world is mine, and all that is in it. 13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls     or drink the blood of goats? 14 “Sacrifice thank offerings to God,     fulfill your vows to the Most High, 15 and call on me in the day of trouble;     I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” 16 But to the wicked person, God says: “What right have you to recite my laws     or take my covenant on your lips? 17 You hate my instruction     and cast my words behind you. 18 When you see a thief, …

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Advent Day 18

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December 14, 2016 THE READINGS Isa. 9:8-17 · 2 Pet. 2:1-10a Psalm 119:49-72 Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope. This is my comfort in my distress, that your promise gives me life. The arrogant utterly deride me, but I do not turn away from your law. When I think of your ordinances from of old, I take comfort, O Lord. Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked, those who forsake your law. Your statutes have been my songs wherever I make my home. I remember your name in the night, O Lord, and keep your law. This blessing has fallen to me, for I have kept your precepts. The Lord is my portion; I promise to keep your words. I implore your favor with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise. When I think of your ways, I turn my feet to your decrees; I hurry and do not delay to keep your commandments. Though the cords of the wicked ensnare me, I do not forget your law. At midnight I rise to praise you, because of your righteous ordinances. I am a companion of all who fear you, of those who keep your precepts. The earth, O Lord, is full of your steadfast love; teach me your statutes. You have dealt well with your servant, O Lord, according to your word. Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments. Before I was humbled I went astray, but now I keep your word. You …

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Advent Day 17

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December 13, 2016 Artwork by Micah Collins Remember, Marker on paper   THE READINGS Psalm 45 · Isaiah 9:8-17 2 Peter 1:12-21 12 Therefore I intend to keep on reminding you of these things, though you know them already and are established in the truth that has come to you. 13 I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to refresh your memory, 14 since I know that my death will come soon, as indeed our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things. 16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy …